A group of parents in Highland Park, Michigan, have sued the public schools in their district for failing to teach their children to read, something the schools are required by state law to do. The suit is being filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which is part of the Progressive movement that has deliberately dumbed-down the American public education system. As we know, it was John Dewey, an ACLU hero, who planned the Progressive program that has destroyed high literacy in the United States and created the Black underclass. Dewey wrote in 1898: "The plea for the predominance of learning to read in early school-life because of the great importance attaching to literature seems to me a perversion."
It was the Progressive state of mind that was the real perversion, not the conservative method of teaching reading which produced high literacy. But what was Dewey’s solution to the “perversion?” Get rid of the traditional alphabetic-phonics method of teaching reading and replace it with a new whole-word, sight method of reading as if our English printed words were like Chinese characters, an ideographic or picture system of writing. The result has been a massive decline of literacy in America.
We doubt that anyone at the ACLU has the faintest idea of the cause of our reading problem. As for the parents at Highland Park, they are like the millions of other parents who send their children to public schools and are given all sorts of reasons why their kids can’t learn to read. According to the ACLU:
"No case ever filed anywhere in the U.S. has addressed a school system in such dire straits. [What took them so long?] The Highland Park School District is among the lowest achieving school districts in the nation, let alone Michigan,” said Mark Rosenbaum, University of Michigan Law School Professor and ACLU cooperating attorney. “How the State responds to this lawsuit — whether it opposes a right to read for the two-thirds of Highland Park schoolchildren who score below proficient on the Michigan reading assessment test — reveals its concern for the fate of these children and their community. The destiny of these children will be the destiny of Michigan."
According to 2011-2012 MEAP scores, 65 percent of fourth graders are not reading at a proficient level; 87 percent are not proficient at math. In seventh grade, 75 percent are not reading at a proficient level while 93 percent are not proficient at math. According to 2011-2012 MME results, by eleventh grade, when students should be college-ready, 90 percent failed reading; 97 percent failed math, 94 percent failed writing and 100 percent failed the social studies and science portions of the exam.
In its lawsuit, the ACLU of Michigan argues that the dismal test scores and reading evaluations prove that the state of Michigan and Highland Park Schools have violated the students’ right to read as set forth by state laws, which requires the state to provide “additional assistance” to children who are not reading at grade level.
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Sam Blumenfeld (photo)